Road Atlanta Preview 2021

BRASELTON, Ga. – Drivers Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson and the Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) team concluded the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season with a seventh-place showing at the Fox Factory 120 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.

Johnson and Simpson earned 240 points for the race, giving them a final total of 2540 for the season, good enough for a sixth-place finish in the final IMSA Pilot Challenge standings for the TCR class.

“I thought our weekend at Road Atlanta was good,” said Johnson. “I thought my qualifying was the best of the year. I felt really, really good in the car. I wish it was like that all year but I think I finally picked up on some things toward the end of the season, so hopefully we can continue that momentum into next season. 

“I can’t thank the whole BHA crew enough for all their hard work, especially on the hand controls, getting that dialed in, and all the assistance and support guidance by Stephen and Josh Gibbs, and Josh Reasoner. The whole team did a fantastic job. I’m glad we were able to get into the position we were in heading into the last race. I’m glad we showed we could’ve done it. We didn’t get that top spot or a podium in the championship, but I think we have some really good momentum going into next year. I’m really excited to get started and get back to work. 

“Congratulations to the 77 car. Taylor and Michael did a fantastic job all year long. I’m really happy for them and the whole BHA crew. And big thanks for Hyundai for all they did over the course of the year. We’ll do it again next year.”

Behind the wheel of the BHA Universal Coating No. 54 Hyundai Veloster N TCR car, Johnson and Simpson negotiated the 2.54 mile-long track with a top time of 1:29.003 with a speed of 102.737 mph. 

“All in all, we weren’t able to get a top three in the championship, but the fact that we were able to go into the last race with a real shot at a good championship finish was a big accomplishment in itself. It’s the first time Michael and I have been able to do that. Another highlight was Michael’s qualifying. He qualified fifth, by far his best performance of the year. I am very proud of him; he has made some great improvements. 

“Thanks to BHW Autoport crew for the season. They worked hard and put in a lot of hours. It was great to represent Hyundai for the first time this year. Now, it’s time to regroup and get back at it in a short eight weeks.”